tv [untitled] February 15, 2013 12:30pm-1:00pm PST
community meetings planning for the subway. eventually i was to friends of washington square to be part of a community advisory group to the subway. so, i've been attending those meetings for about four years. in the beginning mr. funge stated the plan was to rent the boring machines. he talked at a couple meetings about that. then somehow it became that the city was going to buy them. he never explained why they were going to change. and then more recently it has come out that the vendor is supposed to buy them, but the city is giving the money to the vendor to do that. and a lot of the dispute that is now going on has to do with the disposition of these boring machines. somehow it was suggested that the pagoda palace on palace street which has been an eyesore for sometime was the
right site to take the machines out since there was considerable objection to taking them out at union square. and the city was forced -- the subway was forced to do some research into it and we were offered five options at a meeting back in november. and they had been studied and there was a vote towards the end of the meeting, a show of hands. more than half of the people present voted that they wanted the machines extracted in chinatown. subsequently research has shown that that was the initial plan all along to extract them in chinatown. but somehow it was decided it would disturb the community. the city decided to take them out, 7 blocks further. i'm here to say many of us object strongly to the pagoda palace location. really promised it would be presented to the chinatown option, option number 2 apparently was never presented to you or it was presented to
you with the built-in instructions how to vote. i would like to say the chinatown option explore the extraction boring machines. thank you. >> thank you. next speaker, please. >> gregory geiber followed by lance carnes. >> good afternoon. good afternoon. thank you for allowing me to talk. i'm relatively new to san francisco. i went to school here. i spent my life in new york city and know how long a subway project can take from start to completion. when i arrived in new york city in the '70s, the subway was being planned. i hope to get there sometime before i eventually die and it might be completed. these things take a long time. when people favor the pagoda theater, it seemed to be an a versus b assumption. there were no alternative to the chinatown that it seemed to
be you want union street or you want the pagoda theater. with little consideration being given to other alternatives. many people favored the pagoda theater over the union street. i'd like to thank almost everybody did. and one of the reasons is independent of the subway, pagoda theater is an eyesore. and doing anything there will improve the economic viability of north beach which is a major tourist site for the city important to our economy. we do -- board does need to take a look at alternatives of bringing the machine back out to its entry point. this is the common procedure used. take the machine out. the bore heads can easily be backed out. they are traditionally cut up and then backed out, or in many cases including the most famous tunnel boring of all the tunnel, they were just -- somebody took a left turn or maybe it was a right turn [speaker not understood]
government, and left them buried there in the ground, brisbane has just done the same thing with its subway system, tunneling system to and from the airport. the question i have is why are we spending this money for an additional to drive a hole to someplace that may not get built certainly within the tenure of anybody on this board and not at all? there are other uses for that money. >> thank you, sir. thank you. >> next speaker, please. >> lance carnes followed by mark bruno. >> good afternoon. good afternoon. my name is lance carnes, i'm a resident of north beach. you probably heard there was a neighborhood meeting a few weeks back. it was ended by a fire alarm. someone pointed out that wasn't surprising for the mt folks
present, it was getting pretty hot in there. but i'd like to encourage mta to reschedule that meeting or supervisor chiu because i think [speaker not understood] is the key to this whole thing. * neighborhood input is the key to this whole thing. my position, i would like to say i'm not in favor of any extraction of the tunnel boring machines in north beach nor use of the pagoda palace for a whatever station there, anything. i'm still in favor of leaving the tunnel boring machines in chinatown. and it's -- the previous speaker pointed out that the chance of our extending the subway system through north beach station and beyond probably won't happen for 15, 20 years. so, perhaps the money that was -- that could be saved by leaving the tunnel boring machines in chinatown which i
believe is somewhere near $80 million could be banked or invested elsewhere. in 15, 20 years when extension is proposed with the improved tunnel boring machine technology and perhaps the interest on the deposit, [speaker not understood], you can bore the same tunnel or more. so, just in summary, i think that -- i think the central subway should not be making its appearance in north beach until there is a station proposed for the hearing. thank you. >> thank you. next speaker, please. >> mark bruno is the last person to turn in a speaker card. >> good afternoon, mr. bruno. thank you for allowing all of us to speak today. i want to particularly thank
director reiskin and the entire board for taking the time at the last meeting and today and in between, of course, to negotiate with the pagoda palace owners to try to find a pollution and a place that makes sense to extract the tbms. as you know, i'm involved in a lawsuit. and in the lawsuit it's been funded, this lawsuit, but almost 30 businesses in san francisco that are in north beach. all of those own businesses, [speaker not understood] depositions in the lawsuit as to the extraction itself, when it was originally planned for columbus and union would cause tremendous disturbance to their businesses. two of the owners are here today. they've asked that -- they didn't want to speak, but they're the owners of pelegrini that's been mentioned, the restaurant adjacent to the pagoda palace. they did say if people want to ask them questions, they're welcome to ask questions to dario and nick y who are the
owners adjacent to the pagoda palace. i'm here to ask one thing. during negotiations the city include the possibility at no cost to the city of leaving the tbm's in the ground under the pagoda palace. we're not saying that's the only option. we understand that the probable choice is going to extract the machines physically from the pagoda palace. but given the probable cost to do that -- not the cost to the city, but the cost to these businesses -- we believe that it would be a mistake 18 months out -- because that's when they're going to arrive in north beach, these tbm's -- to close off the possibility today in our negotiations with the owner of the pagoda palace to not leaving them in the ground. leaving them in the ground there solves a lot of problems. . in the end we agree it's ultimately a city neighborhood choice, but we think that the city should not at this point prevent them from happening in the future. so, please negotiate that possibility now.
thank you so much. >> thank you, mr. bruno. anyone else here to address the board on the director's report? come forward, please. is there anybody else who cares to address the board on the director's report, please fill out a card. good afternoon. good afternoon, [speaker not understood]. >> would you state your name, please? joe coffin. i'm also associated with [speaker not understood]. the gentleman from new york said some things i'd like to expand on. that's been a concern of mine for many months. the different options that have not been looked at adequately. usually when a tunnel is built like this, there is a construction track that runs down the middle and all the supplies and the concrete comes from the south portal and the drill machines and cutting heads, all of this is brought in through that tunnel from the south portal to the point of construction. normally the, at least one common way of removing all
materials after construction is to pull them back on that same track by dollies back to the south in this case, harrison street portal. the drill heads are bigger than the diameter of the tunnel necessarily because the tunnel is lined after it's drilled. so, the lining, once the tunnel is lined, the diameter is smaller so therefore the drill heads are too big. but as he said, you can normally disassemble or cut up those drill heads and put them on railcars and pull them out the back way. so, in order to avoid doing that apparently, the decision has been made to extend the tunnel 2000 feet to the north. in this case i think it's 2200 feet times 2 because there are two bores. and then extract it in north beach. but to me the most obvious way of getting rid of it is to pull it back to the south as it is normally done and many, many tunnel all over the world. thank you. >> thank you, sir. okay. members of the board, any comments on the director -- i'd
like to say beginning that when we had this meeting in december it looked at all this was going to come together. this is an extraordinary thing and all the departments have worked so closely together. i assume the mta has been informed of this all the way. lot of agencies in a short period of time. while it is not over this, [speaker not understood] about the progress that has been made. congratulate and thank everybody that's been involved. director? >> a brief question about the funding of this, particularly the lease. you mentioned it was a combination of funds. you said state bond funds and i think you said reserve funds. is that project reserve funds or mta reserve funds? >> that's mta reserved funds. right now we don't have authorization to use the project reserve funds for this purpose. but when we do bring a lease, we'll bring you a little bit more specificity in term of exactly what streams of funds and how much we're proposing to use to finance it. >> i assume if we do use
reserve funds which we have without encumbrance, after it would be made to restore those if we could when the future funding streams become available. >> that's correct. >> okay. >> members of the board? [speaker not understood]. >> i just want to thank the members of the neighborhood who have come here to talk about this, but i know this is a huge impact on the neighborhood. and i was in new york city a few weekends ago and saw the second avenue -- excuse me, second ave. subway work going on there. it is a huge impact. and i know in new york city there are buildings that were taken down. there are businesses that look like they are suffering. i know we are going to do everything we can to make sure that the impact on the neighborhood businesses is minimized. and i hope that this ends up being a good compromise and at least minimizing the impact on the neighborhood to a certain extent. and we do have to look forward with our planning. we have to look 10, 15, 20, 30 years ahead when we make these kind of decisions for the city. i appreciate your all coming
down. and i do hear your concerns. and all i can say is that we've heard them and we really will try to help minimize the i pact. >> very good. one other thing you said, director reiskin in your report earlier about the sunday parking. just wanted to say that even though the faith community isn't happy by all this, thank them for the outreach they've done through their churches and synagogues, religious organizations. michael pap as, executive director of the coalition has been very supportive of getting the word out. while they're still happy about the whole thing, that part i think was done well. * i especially want to thank the faith community for that. okay, thank you. ms. stewart. >> [speaker not understood] assistance advisory roarth, mr. chairman. there will be no report today. >> okay. >> public comment, this is an opportunity for members of the public to address matters that are within the jurisdiction of the sfmta board of directors, but not on today's calendar.
you have two people who, three people who have expressed interest and start with herbert wiener followed by mark gruber. >> good afternoon, mr. wiener. herbert wiener. i note that mayor lee wants a task force to do a report on muni. and i think it can be agreed by everyone service on muni is a an all-time low. it's very bad and i haven't seen this since the days of emelio cruz. i believe in the task force but i don't think it should be a whitewash or cover up. i don't think it should be self-congratulatetry. i don't think all the friends of mta should be servinging on the board. you need critics on the board.
otherwise what's going to happen is they'll have a whitewash and thing will go on as before. you do not need this. if you do have a whitewash and things go on as before, heads will roll. we can look at the head of the san francisco housing authority as an example of this. so, as a fair warning, do not whitewash. do reach out. do extend comments today that are critical and make this a complete report. there are definitely things that are wrong. the sunday parking is lousy, a lousy proposal. and you want to do other things of financial extraction like suspend services during the semester break for the schools, which is a ridiculous idea. suspending services during the holiday greatly inconvenience a lot of people who had medical appointments, who had work to go to. and even though it saved money, it did not provide service.
you are here primarily to provide service, not to extract money out of people's hydes. so, therefore the task force should really address this. don't make this a cover up. that's a clear message to ed lee as well. >> thank you. next speaker, please. >> mark gruberg followed by ed healy followed by [speaker not understood]. >> good afternoon, mr. gruberg. good afternoon, mr. chairman, [speaker not understood], mark gruberg, united taxicab workers. i just want to tell you that we are under siege in the almost 30 years i've been driving a cab, we are now facing -- when i say we, i'm talking about cab drivers, the cab industry, the public and yourselves as regulators. this is the greatest threat we have seen in all this time. and i'm talking about the rides -- the so-called ride sharing
services, [speaker not understood] ride sharing services. a couple of these companies lift and side car, using people's private vehicles providing services indistinguishable from taxi service. we're watching this happen before our eyes. we brought this up, many of us drivers at town hall meetings, asked that something be done about it. we were told that, well, we're going to go after these people. but we need to make sure all the i's are dotted and the t's are crossed and so forth. while those i's are being dotted and t's being crossed, the state has stepped in, the cpuc has started rule making proceeding. and now they have given the green light to too of these services and probably a third * two * to form these services. and the end result, if these
services are legalized, an open entry system where anybody with their private car does, you know, 12 years older than us, can go out there and perform taxi services and [speaker not understood] the cream of the business while we are hobly gated to do all the other things that taxis are supposed to do. and the whole rationale, the whole purpose of taxi regulation is completely out the window. so, do something. >> thanks, mr. gruberg. >> ed healey, [speaker not understood]. i'd like to say your sunday parking has changed my life. for years i went to the opera on sunday afternoon. now i'm switching to wednesday. i don't know if this is a positive or not. the women are younger on wednesday nights. i don't know if that's good for me or not. anyway, i'm here on the same
subject. i'd like to hand this in. personal liability insurance company or insurance group that represents six different insurance companies. i also called six other insurance companies making probably 90% of the insurance companies in the country will not give personal liability insurance to side car, a lift or anybody like them. there's now three other companies like that. the cpuc ruling is then seen as a carte blanche, and uber has launched a new phony car search thing and two other companies out there including one called instant cab, i regret i helped them grow [speaker not understood]. it was supposed to be for taxicabs. what does this have to do with you? iest mate there will be over 2000 of these cabs on the street within six months. director heinicke, all of you, director heinicke in particular, spent 7 years of his life trying to, trying to
turn the cab business into an income stream for the public good and succeeded. we were expected to get a lot of medallion dollars out of. thisiest mate in one year you won't be able to sell a taxicab if this is allowed to continue. sheriff brinkman, late november you were very gun hoe about putting funds into the taxi services [speaker not understood] new investigators. somebody [speaker not understood] that process. somebody in the mta is making sure that does not happen. [speaker not understood] is hardly adequate. it's not happening. and i wish you would look into it. i also think if you have influence with [speaker not understood] and anybody else like that, that you should be stressing this. i don't think you have any [speaker not understood] of the potential disaster he's creating with all these uninsured riders and cars on the street. thank you very much. >> thank you.
>> paul mcmurdo followed by mary mcguire and barry corn gold. >> good afternoon, mr. mcmurdo. good afternoon. i agree with the comments of the two previous speakers. most cities have a public convenience necessity type process and the idea is to do a balancing act to make sure there are enough taxis to serve the public. at the same time the taxi companies can make a reasonable profit and the drivers can earn a living. seattle, washington and washington, d.c. are among jurisdictions who attempted to have an open entry model to see how things would work and it was rather disastrous. there was chaos, poor service, unsafe driving, a lot of accidents. then they went back to [speaker not understood], there is an annual hearing to see how many taxis should be on the street. by way of analogy, you have a corner store market every three blocks. proprietor can make a living in the neighborhood [speaker not understood]. there happen to be 3 or 4 people on one block that want
to [speaker not understood], they're going to drive each other out of business. that is the exact dynamic we have now with these quasi-taxi companies, ride sharing, for example, putting in here. so, the drivers are not making a living. they're dropping out. the next thing, the medallion value, hundreds of millions of dollars in sales are in jeopardy. and the companies can't really survive either. as ed heely pointed out, the insurance people have determined there is no coverage on the lift cars and pick on them, the ones with the mustache, [speaker not understood] the driver also says [speaker not understood]. the cpuc is claiming they're satisfied there is a million dollars per incident coverage that's being provided. i think you need to look and examine the contract because [speaker not understood] if there is such a contract. someone will be the deep pockets. maybe you, maybe the cpuc. if there is an insurance
policy, the claims [speaker not understood] what mayor lee said, these are innovative ride sharing. it's not ride sharing if they have to have this kind of insurance. >> next speaker, please. >> mary mcguire, followed by barry corn gold. >> good afternoon, ms. mcguire. mary mcguire, taxi driver. i'm going to follow-up what the others said about the lift. first of all, the passenger is unaware, they just go through [speaker not understood]. despite repeated requests from ed heely, [speaker not understood], they still have yet to produce any documentation proving they have insurance. as they claim, they have a 1 million supplemental excess liability insurance policy per occurrence to cover each driver. i don't know how they can do that. how can it be
supplemental when the private vehicle, the insurance commissioner has ruled that it doesn't cover the private vehicle? so, $1 million, talk is cheap. today's new york times business section, i don't know whether you saw the story -- they ran the story about start ups. maybe 40 or more up to 100. they are heavily invested in venture capital side car uber. even the ceos of these companies are reluctant to go out and buy a new car because they're so wary of this situation. they haven't really turned a profit or gone public yet. so, also i want to bring up the subject of donations. so, [speaker not understood] side car, tick and go, whatever, are not listed [speaker not understood] on the irs charitable organization website. and the puc has requested that the lift drivers produce their 10 99's during this rule making
process. how do you get a 10 99 if you're not a charitable organization? i wonder about that. * also with this $1 million, a major accident can take months. as you know, you're an attorney, or years to settle. by this time these can be out of business. we've seen that before. you really have an responsibility to the public to inform them. enforcing your own rules. thank you. >> next speaker, please. >> barry corn gold is the last person who turned in a speaker card. >> good afternoon, mr. corn gold. good afternoon, barry corn gold, san francisco cab driver's association. i'm here to try to convey the absurdity [speaker not understood] going on law abiding cab drivers under your watch. you deregulated the cab driving in san francisco, you figured out how to extract the most money from our industry, roughly 15 to $20 million a year selling me * medallions which would have helped
independent drivers better their career. [speaker not understood] not enforcing regulations against illegal taxi providers and other providers of taxi services. if you don't spend some of those millions of dollars on investigators to bring this under control, your newly found revenue source will dry up. the real losers will be legitimate cab driverses who follow the rules and the unfortunate ones who have now incurred hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt by purchasing medallions. the public also loses as the wild wild west out there now and the sheriff has left town. good veteran drivers are leaving the industry in droves while new insupervisor aioto-piertionved drivers give it a try. they operate illegally as taxicabs. i'd like to put this up on the overhead of lift cars waiting in line at a hotel in front of the taxicabs. they're taking the airport rides. these people aren't insured as
ed heely pointed out. these used to be considered gypsy cabs, not because they're using an app. somehow they're innovative entrepreneurs. so, you guys have to do something about this or forget about making any money. you ruined the lives of a lot of drivers already. come on, do something. you know, hire some investigators out there. do your job. >> thank you. anyone else care to address the board under the public comment? okay, seeing none public comment period is closed. director brinkman. >> could we please, director reiskin, get some kind of update on where we stand with not only hiring -- budgeting to hire new inspector to taxi administrative services, but also just where we stand on what we can do about lift inside car and car to go? i did read the new puc rulings. i have to admit i'm a little lost as to where that leaves us
and what our options are now. i think it would be really helpful to get an update on that. i know it concerns -- it concerns all of us as city people and taxi riders. >> especially the insurance part. >> especially the insurance part. it worries me to have people getting into these cars with people they have no idea who they are. >> i would second the request on the inspectors. i think one of the sort of promises we made in the industry about raising all this revenue is that we at least use some portion of it for enforcement. you know, i don't know what mr. heely is referring to, but i think rather than speculate who is blocking what, if we can have a report on where we are with hiring enforcement officers, that might be the way to go. >> thank you, director reiskin. [speaker not understood]. >> the consent calendar, these items are considered to be routine and will be acting upon by a single roll call vote unless a member of the public or member of the board wishes to discuss an item separately. mr. chairman, no member of the public has asked that an item be severed, sought matter --
consent calendar is in your hand. >> any member of the board -- in that case consent calendar is there a motion. >> motion to approve. >> is there a second? >> second. a any further discussion? all in favor a aye. >> aye. >> the ayes have it. >> [speaker not understood]. whether to conduct a closed session. >> is there a motion to conduct a closed session? >> motion to conduct the closed session. >> we can do that? >> is that all right? >> is there a second? >> second. >> any further discussion? all in favor say aye. >> aye. >> [speaker not understood] we are in closed session. thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen. >> and, mr. chairman, take me [inaudible] >> the city attorney but took no action. the board [inaudible] and that the real property negotiators took no action. member hot it would be appropriate to take a motion or disclose or not disclose? >> [speaker not understood]. >> we are adjourned. however -- >> however.